Pioneers gear up for baseball season

 

By Nick Kieser

The Volunteer State Community College Pioneers baseball season is now in full swing.

Although the team only started playing this past weekend, the players feel like they are heading in the right direction.

Collin Hopkins, starting catcher for the Pioneers, summarized his current role on the team.

“I am being a leader on the field and knowing the game strategy is important,” he said.

Hopkins also talked about the team’s pitching.

“We are going to work on pitching, other than that I feel like we have a really great team, especially offensively,” said Hopkins.

“The pitching is on the right track, we just have to get there,” he said.

Redshirt Chase Haley gave an update based on where he believes he sits for this season.

“I think coach will just redshirt me this year, and if not then he’ll make his judgment based on seeing me a few more times,” said Haley.

“If I am not 100% this week, then I will be for sure next week,” he said.

With his PRP (platelet-rich-plasma) injection just last July, Haley is partaking in practice and still seeing if he fits on the regular season roster. He commented on what he would do if he did not make the final cut.

“I could work out then go to the game and be there as support,” said Haley.

Last Tuesday, Feb. 13, the Pioneers lost 9-1 to visiting team Wabash Valley College, who placed third in the NJCAA College World Series last season, said Logan Maloney, assistant coach.

“Everyone is getting into the swing of playing again, we’ve seen really good pitching and now some guys can make an adjustment at the plate,” said Maloney.

“We hung in there early, just had an inning that got away from us a little bit,” said Maloney.

“We are going to be a hard-nose gritty team. That is who we are going to be,” said Maloney about his team.

Maloney also said this team has a pretty good chemistry in the locker room.

Maloney discussed who would be starting for the Pioneers.

“We are still looking for our everyday starters. That is all up to Coach Hunt,” said Maloney.

Maloney has set a goal for his outfielders fielding the long hits by the batters.

“No ground ball errors. That is a goal we have set for ourselves in the outfield,” said Maloney.

“It’s about how you finish. It is not about how you start,” Maloney said.

The Pioneers will play Schoolcraft College and Parkland College on Saturday, Feb. 24. The first game will begin at 12:30 p.m. at Garrett Field on Vol State’s campus. The second game will begin at 2:30 p.m.

During spring break, the Pioneers will take the road to face off against the Columbia State Chargers at Dave Hall Baseball Field in Columbia, Tennessee, the weekend of March 2-3.